Wednesday, May 6, 2015

10 Ways to Give Writers Helpful Feedback

Identify what you want and learn how to ask for it. 

Lisa: So I was just wondering if there was one general thing that you've found over the years to be generally true in a general way that would help anyone in any situation?
Psychiatrist: That's a great question, yes, I would say figure out what you want and learn how to ask for it.
Lisa: OK. Those are both really hard.

--How Do You Know (film)


The above quotations are from the movie "How Do you Know." I appreciate this movie psychiatrist's advice as it relates to writing as well. Many writers are intimidated to ask for what they need related to feedback. In fact, it is difficult to know what types of feedback will have a favorable influence on your work. Most of us have experienced that situation where a reader's feedback was tough and caused us to stop writing for a while. The best kind of feedback helps writers to move forward in a writing project. The following suggestions are given to my students so that they can benefit from and give helpful feedback on their class blog projects. They are adapted from Peter Elbow and Pat Belanof's book, Sharing and Responding. New York: Random House, 1989.


TYPES OF FEEDBACK for Blog comments:
I. No Responding: Sharing
1. Just read the blog out loud; see what the words sound like. What is your reaction? (Write this)

II. Descriptive Responding:

2.   Sayback
Write back in your own words some aspect of the post. But say it more as a question--Are you saying...?
3.   Pointing
Write the words or phrases that stick in your mind. Which passages/features did you like best? Don't explain why.
4.   Summarizing
What is the main point? Subordinate ones?
5.   What's Almost Said or Implied
Explain what is almost said, implied, or hovering around the edges. What would you like to hear more about?"
6.   Center of Gravity
What is the source of energy, the focal point, the seedbed, the generative center for this piece
7.   Structure
Comment on the Voice, Point of View, Attitude toward Reader, Level of Abstraction/Concreteness; Language, Diction, Syntax
8.   Metaphorical Descriptions
Describe the blog in terms of weathers, clothing, colors, animals.
9.   Believing and Doubting
Believe or pretend to believe everything that was written. Offer ideas and perceptions to help the case. Then doubt everything that was written. Say arguments that can be made against what was written.
10.   Movies of the Mind
Tell the writer what happens inside your head as you read the words in the blog.

These tips are a way to improve both the reader and writer's experience. Let me know how they work for you.


63 comments:

  1. Very helpful tips not only to help others improve their work, but also to polish ourselves in the eye of the critic which could also help us write better works. Not only being limited to the work itself but also to those other works that may relate in a interdisciplinary way, making it more diverse.

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    1. Yes, Rafael, it's true that the critic's eye can improve a work but my point is that the right kind of feedback is helpful rather than harmful.

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    2. True,I was referring that helpful tips may help the writer have diverse perspectives regarding his or her works :)

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    3. Yes, indeed! Have a good summer, Rafael.

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  2. Great ideas! really impressed with your original and genuine way you have put your story across - you're an inspiration and I am following your journey - awesome work!

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  3. Very useful tips and ideas. Well done, thanks! :-)

    Greetings from London.

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    1. Great to see you here, Cuban In London! Thanks for the support! <3

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  4. Found the suggestion number 10 to be very peculiar, but interesting at the same time. Next time, I'll be sure to try it out!

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  5. Really looking forward to using these ideas and tips for my blog, thanks!

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  6. I've read the post, I will indeed keep them in mind at the time of writing the feedback of my group partners.

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  7. Great tips for giving feedback. Will try them out. Thanks.

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  8. I find it very helpful. I never had in my mind that giving feedbacks could help both the reader and the writer.

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  9. Really nice tips I will try to implement them when commenting on my classmates blogs.

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  10. I've read the post, this suggestions are very helpful. Thank You !! I will try to use them at the moment that I will be doing feedback to my group members.

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  11. These will definitely come in handy at the moment of giving feedback to others. I was particularly interested in #8 mainly because I have never thought of writing feedback using metaphors such as color or weather conditions. It is an interesting idea, I will make sure to try it.

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  12. This is very helpful. Thank you for sharing this with us!

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  13. The tip #8 and # 10 sound interesting, I might try them for my next post especially the metaphor one. Is very helpful, thanks nice day.

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  14. Thank you for sharing these helpful tips ! I especially liked #3, #6 and #10. I'm using these as feedback guides for my comments from now on.

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  15. The most thing that I learn with this feedback advice is to organize how to express our thoughts and make it more clear. The Feedback purpose is a great way to understand our point of view and the public point of view, compare your ideas and purpose and see if they agree, disagree or have a similitude with it. This information help to be more concise and helpful, specifically to bring new ideas to the author with my organized feedback, made by you.

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  16. Wilmer Guadalupe, ENGL3104-104March 23, 2020 at 11:31 AM

    Very helpful tips, I think now I will write better feedbacks. Thank your for such valuable information. Personally, I think that tip #2 and tip #10 are the most coherent.

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  17. This helped me realize the power of readers opinions on the writers work.

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  18. I found this tips really helpful and for sure I'm going to use them as a way to improve my writing. Thank you for tese tips specially #3 and #10.

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  19. With these tips I learned that any kind of work could have more ideas than the original work with the help of other people commenting about it, an example of this is the top #5 where the reader can comment about what they would like to be explained more in the work. The purpose of leaving feedback for writers, what I understood is that it helps better their way of expressing their ideas and to perfect their work by expressing different perspectives on the writing, allowing the writer to be aware of other ideas that could've been elaborated. These tips help me become a better reader because now I know it's not about just pointing out on what I agree or not it's more about helping the writer explain their perspective in even more detail.

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  20. Its interesting how most of these I already do when reading the work of others without really setting out to do so. Although #8 is an odd idea, I can see the reasoning behind it and how it might be effective but I wouldn't have thought to do it.

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  21. I find point #3, #6, #7, ad #9 most interesting and necessary.

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  22. Thank you for these tips, I'm sure I'll use some of them in the future especially #3 and #10.

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  23. This guideline for proper and constructive criticism work both ways, as you could easily go down the list while reading your own works, I'm not sure how objective it would be, but it is constructive all the same.

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  24. Thank you. This tips actually help me organize my comments for next works I want to advice or praise. #6 Center of Gravity was the one that caught my attention the most. It's exactly what im always looking for at the pieces, believe its the one that better expresses my intentions. I understand that the purpose of leaving feedback for writers is taking their written knowledge and find the exact meaning of them, also answer doubts or look further was written.

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  25. Thank you. This actually helps me organize more my comments for further works I want to advice or praise. #6 Center of Gravity it's the more helpful for me, explains exactly what I'm looking for at reading anything; I think thats the more I would consider. I understand that leaving feedback to writers helps me found more deep the meaning of their work. Also whats written not all the time respond my questions so the feedbacks can do.

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  26. Thank you. This actually helps me organize more my comments for further works I want to advice or praise. #6 Center of Gravity it's the more helpful for me, explains exactly what I'm looking for at reading anything; I think thats the more I would consider. I understand that leaving feedback to writers helps me found more deep the meaning of their work. Also whats written not all the time respond my questions so the feedbacks can do.

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  27. I find these tips to give a good and helpful feedback really useful.I usually do the metaphorical one, I try to compare the writer's work with a color or a song. Apart from helping the writer, these tips can also polished the way the reader understands the written work.

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  28. Really helpful tips. I will keep them in mind.

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  29. The tip #9 really amazed me. "Believe or pretend to believe everything that was written." In that way the point of view will be objective instead of subjective, influenced by each person way of thinking and seeing the world.

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  30. These are really helpful tips to aid writers to improve their work through constructive comments. Personally I tend to use “Movies of the mind” and “Structure” but I will definitely give a try to “Believing and doubting”, “Sayback” and “pointing” because they called my attention and will keep me focused on more aspects of the work while reading.

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  31. Helpful feedback is always a good thing. Writers need that to perfect their work. I found tips 3 and 10 very important because the writers goal is to get the readers attention so it's good that the readers let you know how they feel while reading or what surprised them the most about your work. That way you can determine if you reached your goal or what you need to do so.

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  32. Helpful feedback is always a good thing. Writers need that to perfect their work. I found tips 3 and 10 very important because the writers goal is to get the readers attention so it's good that the readers let you know how they feel while reading or what surprised them the most about your work. That way you can determine if you reached your goal or what you need to do so.

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  33. I’ve learned how to write better comments, it was very educational this blog. It will be very helpful to do my future works.

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  34. I’ve learned the importance of leaving a feedback to the publisher, so they can see what was wrong or just to see how good their work was. By reading this as well, I can learn to adjust at more points of view, other than mine. Be more open for suggestion.

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  35. They where very helpful to my persona. It may me analyze if I was giving a helpful feedback to my classmates. I will sure keep them in mind when I am accomplishing these task

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  36. Valeria I. TorresMarch 23, 2020 at 3:37 PM

    This were really helpful tips. I'll put them in practice when doing or commenting on our another forums activities. Thank you!

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  37. These help me a lot in realizing the importance of not only giving a good feedback but a correct one. It also made me realized that I give is mostly #3 and 7

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  38. These tips are good. Thank you for sharing them, I really like them and they will help me organize my rain of thoughts. I will apply these tips on future comments.

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  39. Hey prof... I've had writers block for a while and i'll be sure to use this tips. Num.3 it's very creative and 7 & 9 remind me of opening My mind more to dough and wonder thanks.

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  40. I believe that this information will be very helpful in my next essay comments. #10 and #7 were my favorites and I will always keep in mind #5.

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  41. As a writer, I find the tip #9 very important since we have to learn how to question everything that's around us. Even if that means seeing things from another perspective...

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  42. Miredys Rivera:
    Thank you for the details. honestly this will help a lot whith my feedbacks and comments in the future. I believe that #10 #7 #6 and #5 are key elements in the process of creating a good and reliable comment.

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  43. Thank theyou you for the details. Honestly, this will help a lot with my future feedbacks and comments. I believe that #10 #7 #5 are key elements in the process of creating a good and reliable comment. (miredys.rivera@upr.edu) 3104-104

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  44. Tip number 6 " Center of Gravity" was very interesting and useful.
    Will use it on a future occasion.

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  45. I believe that #5 #7and #10 are key elements on creating a good comment. This will really help me achieve that extra "touch" on my feedbacks

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  46. "Believe or pretend to believe everything that was written. Offer ideas and perceptions to help the case. Then doubt everything that was written. Say arguments that can be made against what was written." By believing in everything that was written it gives an objective view. This is a very helpful tips in order to not comment subjectively.

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  47. Patricia Morales
    "Believe or pretend to believe everything that was written. Offer ideas and perceptions to help the case. Then doubt everything that was written. Say arguments that can be made against what was written." By believing in everything that was written it gives an objective view. This is a very helpful tips in order to not comment subjectively.

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  48. "Believe or pretend to believe everything that was written. Offer ideas and perceptions to help the case. Then doubt everything that was written. Say arguments that can be made against what was written." By believing in everything that was written it gives an objective view. This is a very helpful tips in order to not comment subjectively.

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  49. This was a very helpful article. It help me a lot in my works and writing

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  50. This was a very helpful article. It helps me a lot in my works

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  51. I understand that feedback is essential in writing, because when you write you are not only doing it for yourself, somebody else is going to read that so its important to consider other's opinion on your writing.The suggestion writing back in your own words (sayback) could be the most useful one, because you are letting the writer know about how the audience percieved the message, giving them an opportunity to confirm that you understood the point trying to be made or to clarify it.

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  52. These article helped me realize if I was being efficient when giving feedback to my classmates I will sure keep them in mind for a future writing.

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  53. This are really helpful tips to aid writers to improve their work through constructive comments. Personally I tend to use “Movies of the mind” and “Structure” but i will definitely give a try to “Believing and boubting” “Sayback” and “Pointing” because they called my attention and will keep me alert when reading something.

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  54. the tip #10 "Tell the writer what happens inside your head as you read the words in the blog." I think is very good because everything that we read had an effect on our ways of seeing things and is good to express how we understand the things we read.

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  55. Miredys Rivera INGL3104-104
    (#10 Movies of the Mind and #3 Pointing) On the movie “On the Basis of Sex”, my feedback was based on what ideas came to my mind and pointed out phrases to explain key points of the story. These two elements helped to clarify my doubts of feedback.

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  56. Miredys Rivera INGL3104-104
    The phrase that captivated me to analyze the film "On the Basis of Sex" was the response that Ruth B. Ginsburg gave to an ignorant man when he explained that women were privileged to be excused from the obligations of men...Her response to this was: " It is not a privilege, it's a cage, and these laws are the bars!" When I saw the difficulties of being considered a mere "weak figure" by gender alone caused me a disturbing doubt about the perspectives of the workplace with women. In the same way, my ignorance caused me a lot of discomfort, since I did not know who this feminist figure was, so I had no choice but to learn about her and what contributions she made that helped me and many other females today.

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